Topic: Allow reviewers to refuse reviewing a paper assigned to them  (Read 623 times)

We want to give reviewers the possibility to refuse reviewing a paper assigned to them. They might have several reasons for not wanting to review a paper: For example, the reviewer may identify a conflict of interest, the submission may be incomplete or it may not be suitable for the conference.

(A German version of this article is available.)

You can use the "Refuse Reviewing" option to let reviewers refuse reviewing a submission assigned to them.

Please go to:
Overview => Settings => Main Settings for the Review Process
In the section “Review Options” set the option “Do Reviewers have the Option to Refuse Reviewing a Submission?” to “Yes” (see image 1).

This setting gives reviewers the new option to refuse to review a paper assigned to them (see image 2). If they decide to refuse a review, they will have to state a reason why they think they cannot evaluate a submission that has been assigned to them. They can choose a preset reason for refusal and add a personal explanation for refusal, so that the program committee can approve the reason given (see image 3).

As the organizer, you can manage the reasons for refusal on this page (see image 4):
Overview => Settings => Manage Reasons to Refuse an Evaluation
You can create, edit or delete the reasons why reviewers can refuse to evaluate for your event. The system already provides a default set of reasons as examples.

If a reviewer refuses to review a paper assigned to him/her, the chairs can be informed by an automatic e-mail. You can define the corresponding e-mail settings on the following page:
Overview => Settings => E-Mail Settings
Go to the section “E-Mail Settings for the Refusal of Reviewers to Evaluate a Submission” and configure the e-mail settings according to your needs (see image 5). You can also add an additional message to the recipients (chairs) of the refusal information e-mail.

Please note:
The "Refuse Reviewing" option can facilitate the review process for chairs, as reviewers do not need to contact them by e-mail if they cannot review a paper. However, it may also encourage reviewers to select this option, which in turn might lead to more refused papers and more work for chairs to re-assign them. Chairs must manually reassign the refused contributions to new reviewers, i.e. the system does not automatically un-assign the paper from the reviewer or assign it to another reviewer.

If you want to allow reviewers to state a possible conflict of interest, you can alternatively use the “Bidding Function”. Please find related information on this page: Allow reviewers to state conflict of interest (COI)